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Megan Rapinoe pens article to explain anthem protest

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Megan Rapinoe has made waves for her continued kneeling protest during the national anthem, now she’s explained why.

In a piece written by Rapinoe on The Players’ Tribune, the U.S. Women’s National Team star details her ongoing protest and her desire to see equal treatment for all in the United States.

“I am kneeling because I have to do something. Anything. We all do.” Rapinoe begins her statement. “I haven’t experienced over-policing, racial profiling, police brutality or the sight of a family member’s body lying dead in the street. But I cannot stand idly by while there are people in this country who have had to deal with that kind of heartache.”

Rapinoe, who is herself openly homosexual, explains that though she hasn’t herself experience racial profiling, police brutality, or many other issues affecting minorities in the U.S., she wants to use her unique position of influence to catalyze a change she sees as absolutely necessary.

Rapinoe explains that while she acknowledges that some may feel disrespected by her kneeling, she believes that she is utilizing her rights as guaranteed by that flag. She states that she makes a note to honor the freedoms granted to her by facing the flag directly and believes the protest is necessary as it is her responsibility “to ensure that freedom is afforded to everyone in this country.””

In the powerful message, Rapinoe explains that, despite not being personally persecuted, she believes that the equality of each person is the responsibility of all others around them.

“I have chosen to kneel because in the time it has taken me to write this article, many more Americans have been lost to senseless violence. I have chosen to kneel because not two miles from my hotel in Columbus, Ohio, on the night before our USWNT match against Thailand, a 13-year-old boy named Tyre King was fatally shot by a police officer. I have chosen to kneel because I simply cannot stand for the kind of oppression this country is allowing against its own people. I have chosen to kneel because, in the words of Emma Lazarus, “Until we are all free, we are none of us free.””

Rapinoe closes her statement by calling on her fellow Americans to take a similar stand for equality.

“Even more simply, you can ask yourself this question: “Do I truly care about equality for all people in this country?”

“I am choosing to do something. I am choosing to care.”

17 comments
  • Ronniet

    I’d be ignorant to think that Rapinoes explanation article will bring clarity to what she is doing or to what is happening in our country because the fact remains that some people choose not to see reality or simply don’t care. I commend her for using her platform as a means to begin dialogue or even some action on this front, but sadly I think she’ll continue to get backlash from the aforementioned.

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    • Old School

      The facts don’t support the narrative. The only thing being perpetuated by this movement, ironically, is the very hatred it’s alleged to be in opposition of.

      “Backlash” is simply people expressing their own opinion on the topic which opposes hers. Too often one side wants the platform to express their opinions and views, but cries fowl in the face of others expressing their own. Which is also ironic because censorship is what they’re alleging while actively censoring those who disagree.

      This debate should be a conversation, but neither side seems interested in doing so because they’re too busy defending their own opinion. Unfortunately, statistical data doesn’t support both sides and if you’re curious to know what side it does, you simply need to do more research and watch less cable news to formulate reality.

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      • Ronniet

        everyone is entitled to their opinion, which what supposed to be great about this country, but yet here you have players expressing their displeasure with obvious systematic and social injustices and its combated with ignorance and a blind eye. Any activist with any sense will no doubt welcome dialogue supporting both sides but what will not be welcomed is racist and discriminatory language from cowards. Some folks may see a narrative, but those who have been through these transgressions speak factually, and stats don’t always show the true picture and are formulated by people like yourself and me, which can also be open to interpretation. No amount of research or news watching can replace reality, there are people suffering in real time. The idea that this “movement” is perpetuating the very “hatred” it is in opposition of is plain wrong and a stretch at best. Yes, small pockets of people have exhibited violence in the wake of this mess, but pigeon holing a whole movement as hateful is the very thing that’s being fought, this idea that a group of people are out of control and violent. There are “bad apples in every bunch”, the bad is simply overshadowing a lot of the good that’s being done to start dialogue and positive change.

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      • Old School

        everyone is entitled to their opinion, which what supposed to be great about this country, but yet here you have players expressing their displeasure with obvious systematic and social injustices and its combated with ignorance and a blind eye

        Yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion and experiences and being able to utilize their voice should be allowed on each side. In this case, Rapinoe has openly (and irresponsibly) accused homophobia and racism when an opposing individual expressed their own. That’s the true ignorance.

        Some folks may see a narrative, but those who have been through these transgressions speak factually

        I absolutely agree there has been transgressions that exist, but where things get tricky is the correct term would be factually anecdotally. One’s reality does not make factually reality for society.

        Yes, small pockets of people have exhibited violence in the wake of this mess, but pigeon holing a whole movement as hateful is the very thing that’s being fought, this idea that a group of people are out of control and violent. There are “bad apples in every bunch”, the bad is simply overshadowing a lot of the good that’s being done to start dialogue and positive change.

        Let’s change a couple of those words to highlight the hypocrisy because it does apply to both sides:

        Yes, a small number of police officers have exhibited poor decision making or systemic racism in the wake of this mess, but pigeon holing a whole profession as hateful is the very thing that’s being fought, this idea that a selfless profession is out of control and violent [is incorrect]. There are “bad apples in every bunch”, the bad is simply overshadowing a lot of the good that’s being done to start dialogue and positive change.

        Police should be held to a higher standard than the average citizen, but assuming they aren’t is where the media has polluted the water. Their discretion is trusted by the judicial system for the very situations they’re routinely putting themselves within that the average citizen doesn’t understand and never would attempt.

        The supposed uprising this movement is pushing, perpetuated by the media like pawns for ratings, is creating a lack of compliance that is resulting fatal interactions. Sure, we hear about shootings seemingly every week, but it’s all too convenient that those stories suddenly disappear when the facts and variables come to light.

        Distrust of any power is healthy, and there’s a time and place to fight criminal transgressions. However, the amount of whimsical trust that the general public are getting from soundbites is absolutely by design and anyone turning a blind eye exhibits actual ignorance.

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    • David

      Old School, I think you’re making an honest effort to engage (unlike some of the later comments)–so I’ll try to do the same. I agree with you that only a few chosen anecdotes are promoted, but where you are saying those are the few bad apples and the worst of the bunch, I would say those are the ones where there happened to be live video. Per the Washington Post (different figures bounce around, but their data seems pretty comprehensive), 93 unarmed people were killed by police in 2015 (plus 34 with toy weapons, your mileage may vary as to whether that should count). So far there have been *zero* convictions for murder or manslaughter. There were zero in 2014. There was one in 2013. So if you really believe that the line for a conviction for shooting an unarmed person is 0 or 1 out of 93, then you’re right, the narrative Rapinoe is talking about doesn’t exist.

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      • Old School

        I agree with you that only a few chosen anecdotes are promoted, but where you are saying those are the few bad apples and the worst of the bunch, I would say those are the ones where there happened to be live video.

        On the topic of video, I’m a huge proponent of having body cameras on every officer. While one’s vantage point doesn’t tell the whole picture it certainly has a direct correlation between the behavior and conduct of both participants: the officer and the citizen.

        As for the convictions, I can only think of the most recent high profile Freddy Gray case where, due to civilian unrest, the D.A. rushed the charges and completely botched a case where clearly some misconduct took place. That is a fault of the judicial system and not of the officers.

        I think what’s lost here is an obvious racially biased “system” is actually within the judicial system when the War on Drugs was instituted and the scheduling of narcotics, and mandatory minimums. The actual beef should be with politicians, judges and general civic leaders who effect policy. Not the ones who are employed to maintain order in the streets.

        But unfortunately, the media and politicians work hand in hand, and are successfully creating propaganda to push this on to the men and women who get absolutely no thanks for dealing with the worst of society and keeping them at bay from the rest of functioning adults and children. The common rebuttal is: “Well, did they sign up for it?” and the obvious answer is: “Yes.”. However, that doesn’t mean we should take for granted the thankless work they do and ignore the scum of society that is now getting a platform to rebel and play the victim card.

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      • David

        Oh, for sure the problem is with the entire system. I 100 percent agree with you on body cams, and I think another great reform would be special prosecutors on any police case (the one that comes to mind for me is the Tamir Rice case, where the *prosecutor* told the jury how much the toy gun looked like a real one, because, hey, they still have to work with their police after the case). But nowhere is Rapinoe saying “police are the only problem and every single one of them are thugs.” Of course there are knuckleheads who are saying that, but there are also knuckleheads who are saying things like “if you run from the police, they should shoot you” That’s a direct quote from the comments of my local paper, and it wouldn’t be hard to find worse than that.

        Also, I think you might be overstating with “men and women who get absolutely no thanks for dealing with the worst of society” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_law_enforcement_decorations

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      • Old School

        Referencing Tamir Rice: In no way should any 12 year old lose their life under any circumstance. That’s a tragedy as they haven’t even begun their life. Removing the emotional attachment to that dynamic, we can not ignore the other variables.

        1) Rice was not small in stature and does not appear, at first glance, to be a child
        2) Rice was wielding a gun that is has an uncanny resemblance (I encourage you to Google it)
        3) Rice brandished the weapon and aimed it at passerby’s both in cars and on foot
        4) Rice was video taped from a window because of the odd nature and behavior
        5) Rice approached the police vehicle and pulled his weapon from his waist

        These are simply facts regarding the case. Again: 12 year losing his life = bad. Police acting in a criminal behavior = no. Playing Monday Morning Quarterback, I would have advised approaching Rice from a non-immediate distance to assess the situation more thoroughly. If there’s one dynamic I think all police need more training in is deescalation tactics.

        However, Tamir Rice’s situation represents a scenario where we have a cultural breakdown of reasonable behavior or understanding. Rice was not behaving like a reasonable child, let alone person. It’s sad to think that type of behavior – aiming a replica gun at random strangers – is fostered intentionally or unintentionally. As they say, if you don’t raise your children better believe someone will.

        I have a lot more parallels that I’ve experienced or went through in my early life that give me a greater awareness and sympathy to the disenfranchised segment of our America. Far more than I will get in to, in fact. It’s with this prior path that I refuse to be an apologist to our (keyword our, not theirs) segment of society that refuses to take responsibility for their own actions.

        Many of us that empathize with both sides are ready stand united and have done so by contributing our time or by volunteering when able, but being labeled as racist, bigoted, or homophobic, etc because I wait till facts are released or giving benefit of doubt to men and women who put on the uniform over individuals who are actually perpetuating stereotypes or hatred is where we’re lost.

        I’m not a person of absolutes, and try to keep an open mind but realize more and more each day that makes me a minority of sorts.

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    • Silversurfer

      Four police officers murdered this week. One if the dead is a young mother who had her baby four months ago. Let’s hear from Megan on this. How about all of you who say she has a right to her opinion or her right to bring to light a subject in need of discussion. All I hear is silence from you all. To the poster above Id love to discuss the issues with you. It has been said that people like you aren’t ignorant, it’s just that you know so much that just isn’t so. I disagree, people like you are ignorant, wantonly ignorant. Shame on you

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  • Cj

    She has no platform. I forgot all about her until she penned this letter. This letter proved even more she is in this for herself so she can have sites like this link to her. Ratings in the NFL are tanking because of the protests, people go to sports to escape and not have it thrown in their face. She and most of the athletes protesting including Kapernick are media hounds.

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  • dan

    I honestly do not care if people protest the anthem. With that said, if she really believed in her cause she would refuse to represent the US national team. She kind of contradicts herself by representing the country but protesting the anthem.

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  • danny

    Wonder if Crapinoe makes this announcement if she was worried about being dropped from WNT.

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  • Buffon69

    She already explained herself last month. Everyone who disagrees with her doing whatever she wants, all the time, is a racist bigot. That’s her position in a nutshell.

    For someone who pretends to be a man in most facets of life, her logical leaps and whining are rather reminiscent of a pre-pubescent teenage girl.

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  • wood chip zip

    Meagan, I used to enjoy watching you play soccer. You kind of ruined that by making a couple of false narratives more important than the game. So I just don’t watch the women anymore

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  • Silversurfer

    And will Megan Rapinoe stand out of respect for the two police officers murdered in the line of duty this week? Will she discuss the violent behavior and abusive actions of the man shot by police officers in Charlotte? Will she bring up the fact that Michael Brown assaulted a store clerk before he assaulted the officer Ferguson, Mo? Of course not, she’s not educated enough to read beyond the attention seeking headlines. What about the responsibility of those engaged in dangerous and reckless behavior who often place officers in positions of making split second decisions. She is a nothing bur a mere child who hss lived a life of privilege and used her status as a member of the protected class to point fingers at those who protect us. She chooses not to stand and speak out on a subject she is too lazy to delve deeper into, so I choose not to watch a USNWT game again so long as she is involved. Choices Megan, choices.

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  • The TX 2 Stepper

    “Keyboard Warriors of the world unite!”

    You guys are killing me. You have no idea AND your replies are a testimony that you don’t want to have an idea. Your critiques of Rapinoe are conversation enders.

    Do you want to be informed about the realities of over-policing and police brutality? Do you want to stand in the light and know the truth? Would you prefer to stay in the dark about the experiences that your fellow HUMANS are experiencing in a supposed “just society”? Does their realities wake you from slumber so abruptly that you just can’t handle it?

    If not, what tactic would you deem appropriate from Ms. Rapinoe to affect change?

    What I’m reading from some of you is that she should diminish her platform as a national sporting figure and outspoken advocate to pipe down and affect change. Is that an unfair assessment?

    Liked by 1 person

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